The hate against natural hair is real y’all — not that we didn’t already know this.
Yet another Black woman has been fired from her job for rocking her texture in all of its kinky and curly glory. According to CBC News, 20-year-old Akua Agyemfra was fired from her job as a server at Toronto-based Jack Astor Bar & Grill due to wearing her natural hair in a bun.
An assistant manager explained that her termination, which occurred on Agyemfra’s third day of training, was based on her lack of wearing her hair “down” or straight. The young woman, who takes “pride in her natural hair,” said she was embarrassed by the situation, being made to take her hair out in front of other co-workers, showing that her couldn’t lay “down” without being processed or straightened.
Akua went on to say that she has no plans to return to the restaurant and shared this Facebook message:
“I know most black women at restaurants are forced to wear wigs or weaves or extensions, or are forced to straighten their hair everyday. Don’t get me wrong, I think extensions look great. I’ve been wearing them ever since I was a little girl. I love when I get my braids. It’s the protective style I choose and works for me. But why am I scrutinized when I decide to to take them out? That’s not fair.”
“I’m not going to compromise my roots and edges because my employer wants me to. My scalp has a right to breathe just as much as the woman standing beside me.”
As a young Black woman that has worn her hair both relaxed and natural, seeing these stories continue pop up left and right about natural hair is ridiculous. When does it stop? Of course, I understand that certain jobs call for certain hairstyles, but as a server in the food industry, I would definitely expect for her to have to wear her hair pulled back. I mean, what’s wrong with a bun? When your hair is down, the chances of hair falling into food is increased. So, wouldn’t a stationary style like a bun or ponytail be a better option? Or am I wrong?
Nevertheless, regardless if her hair was neatly pulled back in a bun or “down,” something as simple as a hairstyle that didn’t interfere with her job seriously should have not counted as determining factor in her termination. At the end of the day, hair is just hair and shouldn’t be a constant problem in the workplace, especially for women of color who chose to wear their natural hair.
As always, we’re interested in your thoughts on this incident. Have you or someone you know been fired from a job because of your hair?